The term “sound science” really creeps me out, that is not a secret. Several months ago I wrote a piece called The Sound Science of Deception, resting my case, but a during recent discussion of federal research funding, there it was again, in USDA.
Supporting Dairy Farmers is Part of a Balanced Diet
Eat fat! That is the message delivered in new studies that suggest Americans have wrongfully avoided fat in their diets for decades. In an effort to deal with the growing epidemic of heart disease, scientists turned their focus to cutting fat from diets. Many of those studies failed to control for major heart disease contributors like smoking, stress, sedentary lifestyles, and obesity. Nonetheless, the war against fat had begun.
Mad Cows, Fat Cats, and Chlorinated Chickens: NFFC protests TAFTA
This week has been a jam packed week here in DC. In addition to the Appropriations process and a few conferences (more on those later), the fifth round of negotiations for the EU-US trade deal (TAFTA, the TransAtlantic Free Trade Agreement, or TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) happened on the George Mason University School of Law campus.
What’s Happening to the Bees?
“Are Your Delicious, Healthy Almonds Killing Bees?” That is the question posed by Tom Philpott last week in Mother Jones. As the acreage in monocropped almonds in California has grown, so too has the reliance on “pollinator services”. Wild honeybees simply cannot pollinate the vast number of almond trees growing in California’s almond country anymore. This year between 15 and 25 percent of beehives in almond groves have experienced “severe” damage says the Pollinator Stewardship Council.
In The Spring—
“In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love”, or so Tennyson told us. But in the corn belt it seems, that rather than thoughts of love, the thoughts of many turn to crop protection chemicals, or in common language, herbicides and insecticides. Whether one is applying them to crops or hoping to avoid their toxic fumes and drift, pesticides will soon be in the air.
USFRA Promotes Agribusiness, Not Farmers
The USFRA was created in 2011 as a trade association uniting Big Ag corporations (such as Monsanto, Cargill and DuPont Pioneer) and marketing groups for commodities (including corn, soybeans, beef and pork). Take note: some of these groups are farmer-funded, but in reality, farmers have no choice but to fund them, and it is often at their own expense.
The Battle for the Capitol – Solidarity within the Food System
On April 28th, NFFC and Iowa CCI staff joined ROC United, National Domestic Workers Alliance, the National People’s Action, and the National Organization for Women to show Congress that we are fed up with them favoring corporations over people. The march timed to coincide with the National Restaurant Association’s annual lobby day. “The other NRA” has worked to block minimum minimum wage increases, paid sick day legislation, and kept the federal tipped minimum wage at $2.13 since 1991. The NRA also lobbied against sustainable farming practices, farm animal welfare rules, and efforts to label the nutritional quality of foods in restaurants.
Glyphosate IS everywhere!
I thought this would be a pretty simple first blog post – Monsanto’s Roundup Contaminates More than Just the Food on the Store Shelves – but breast milk?
Legislative Update from D.C.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack appeared before the House Agriculture Committee last week to discuss the state of the rural economy and field questions on the implementation of the Farm Bill. Over the past few weeks USDA officials have appeared before the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to discuss USDA’s proposed budget for FY2015. And as always, bills are being introduced on the Hill that would have real impacts on the lives of farmers. Here are some key highlights:
“Meat” the author: NFFC talks with Chris Leonard about his new book “The Meat Racket”
Our Meeting with Christopher Leonard and a discussion about his book, The Meat Racket: The Secret Takeover of America’s Food Business. Leonard, a former AP agribusiness reporter, discussed what he learned about the meat industry and the struggles of livestock growers in the business. It was an honor and a privilege to have this conversation with him over dinner, which included sustainably, family farm raised ham from Patchwork Family Farms and cheese from Cheddar Grove.
NFFC Board President Notes Progress and Setbacks in 2014 Farm Bill
Read NFFC’s President Ben Burkett Review of 2014 Farm Bill
NFFC Dairy Leader Proposes Milk Price Proposal to Agriculture Committees
To: Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the Senate Ag Committee,
Senator Thad Cochran, Minority Chair of the Senate Ag Committee
Rep. Frank Lucas; Chair; House Ag Committee
Rep. Colin Peterson, Minority Chair; House Ag Committee